Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Relationship

Isn’t it funny how God will use ordinary things to teach you a lesson? He showed me something one day about relationships through my kids.

Since my son and daughter were small I have learned that the evenings go smoother if first I spend time with them. I’m away from them all day, and when we’re finally back home together, they need me to be their mom. They need to talk, to be listened to, to be loved, and have my attention. Then, most of the time when I ask them to do something, they’ll do it without complaining or hesitation. From the attention that I’ve given them, they’ve learned that I love them and that they are important to me. We’re the same way with God. We need to talk to him, to be listened to, and to be loved.

I’ve got a friend who never fails to answer all my whines and complaints with a one liner – “Crawl up in the lap of Jesus”. It sounds very comforting, doesn’t it? Well, try it on for size when you’re fit to be tied, and when you’ve gotten to the end of your rope, and your nerves are crawling! It’s like pouring ice water on a sleeping baby!

Sometimes that one liner is the LAST thing I want to hear. I’d rather hear a bit of affirmation to my being ill at the world, an agreement that I’ve been done wrong so I can take my anger out like a baseball bat and swing it around at a few innocent bystanders! But she never fails to say it, and I never fail to feel it. There’s healing in her words when I do take her advice. When you can go to Jesus with your troubles, have that little talk, let him comfort you, and calm you, you always go away more willing to do as he asks, and being more accepting of all the situations that are given to you.

The willingness to serve comes from an understanding of the relationship. God is my Father. That’s not just something the Bible says, or something my parents taught me. It’s something I know from the heart because I’ve allowed Him to be a Father to me. When you will allow God to be your Father, you find Him always there to give good advice – but He won’t force you to follow it. As much as He’ll instruct us in the way that is right, He’ll allow us to make our own choices. He’ll allow us to run ahead when we should just walk by His side. And He’ll wait for us when we stop and wander. He is FATHER. Once I realized the relationship, and the love that was behind it, doing as He asked was just easier that ignoring Him.

Remember that feeling you had in your heart when you knew your parents wanted you to do something - and you didn’t? Or how about that feeling after you’d disobeyed – the fear of them finding out – the fear of confrontation? It’s a kind of grief – a sort of heaviness in your heart. When you’re God’s child and you ignore His will for your life, you experience that same heaviness and burden. There’s no joy in living like that!

I watched a young Dad and his son on the walking trail in my hometown one day. He was teaching his son how to ride a bike. He gave him instructions, but then let him ride. He didn’t touch the bike until the little boy started to fall. But then – he was right there! He caught him! God’s like that. He’ll tell us what to do, but allows us to do as we choose. He’ll instruct us, but allow us to fall because we need to experience at that too! And when we go out and get ourselves a boo-boo, He’ll clean us up, and wipe our tears away.

So if you’re feeling low, feeling like there’s no joy, no peace, or so angry you’re fit to be tied, well, CRAWL UP IN THE LAP OF JESUS! Tell Him all about it. Strengthen that relationship by spending time with him. Seek your Father. The time you spend with Him is always time well spent!

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